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Neosho Daily News - Neosho, MO
  • KAY HIVELY: Phone calls about history enjoyable

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  • I sometimes think people see me as a library or walking encyclopedia. They call me for information on things that I don't often know anything about. I find it rather amazing how they find me with so many questions.
    This past week, I got a call from a lady in Ohio. She told me about a friend who had relatives living in the Ozarks and they were trying to find his relatives.
    This all came about when someone gave her an old issue of Bittersweet magazine. Lo and behold, there was a story about the Ozarks relatives. According to the story, three of the Ozarkers were murdered all at the same time. They had unique names, Alonzo, Norman and Julius so she was sure they were her friend's relatives. Not too many families had three sons with those names.
    I didn't ask the lady from Ohio how she got my name, but she wanted to know if I could help find the real story. I told the lady that I had never heard of this family.
    So, she asked if, by chance I knew the author of the magazine story or if I knew Ellen Gray Massey, the lady schoolteacher who started Bittersweet magazine and made it famous.
    I know Ellen Gray Massey, but haven't talked to her in a long time. I called a friend in Monett and got Ellen's new address, phone number and e-mail address. The lady in Ohio was delighted when I called with this information. I hope Ellen was able to help her out.
    Actually, I enjoy these calls, and even if I don't know anything about what they want, I always learn something interesting. I plan to do a little research, myself, and see if I can find Alonzo, Norman and Julius.
    • • •
    A friend of mine who is taking a bicycle trip across the United States is making good progress. He began in New Hampshire and is currently in Iowa. He has had a world of experiences and met some good people. Right now he is battling these thunderstorms that are rolling across the country. And when it isn't raining, he's battling black flies.
    Thus far, he has traveled every kind of terrain and every kind of weather. He has been lost, been found, met friends along the way, had good and bad nights in his tent and good and bad nights in motels.
    But he keeps on going, over lonely country roads, on miles of bike routes and through big cities. He has battled mechanical problems, bad food and beautiful scenery. He seems to be having a great experience and just enjoy peddling along with a lot of time to think.
    Page 2 of 2 - Russell and I are hopeful of meeting up with him around Sioux Falls, S. D. in about a week. If he has very good luck he may be gone by the time he get there. Or if he has problems, he may not be at a place where we can see him. It's kinda like trying to hit a moving target with a car. Hopefully, our car and Bob's bike will meet soon.
    Kay Hively writes a weekly column for the Daily News.
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